If you own a wood stove and live in an under-insulated house, there is a good chance you’ve seen mysterious-looking stains on your walls and ceilings. This “sooting”— a phenomenon known as “ghosting”— typically suggests incomplete combustion byproducts condensing upon cooler framing members.
In other words, hot meets cold, and then invites dust and/or soot particles to the party. While it may resemble mold, it’s usually not.
I recently noted this during a visit to a home in Friday Harbor where visible soot outlined underlying framing elements. As you can see in the picture, ghosting can sometimes create unique patterns.
If your home is experiencing “ghosting,” learn about addressing the possible causes.
If you have questions or comments about “ghosting”-related issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).